First Responder Presentation Team

Background:

Initial information regarding this training came about through professional development contact in a session at OCALI three years ago. Angie Toland connected with Abbey Love from the University of Kentucky regarding bringing this information to our community. As a result, we formed a presentation team - Angie Toland, Chelsea Hanjora and Jenn Slechter. We directly collaborated with Ms. Love to develop a regionally-specific training. We have shared data from our presentations with Ms. Love and her supervisor Dr. Jonathan Campbell, as a part of the doctoral research project being completed by Ms.Love.

We have presented to multiple area agencies:
- Bluffton EMS;
- Allen County Sheriff and Lima Police Department,  presented at Bath Fire Department;
- Lima Memorial Hospital - ProMedica campus police officers, local park rangers, local school resource officers and several officers from neighboring counties.

We have developed a simple informational brochure (click here) for use in the community. We  have also incorporated individuals with disabilities into the presentation which enhances the effectiveness of the message.

Purpose:
We, as a team, feel that it is a part of our professional development  responsibilities to both advocate and provide community outreach to promote greater understanding of our students and their unique needs. We hope to provide insight for first responders regarding individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other hidden disabilities.
Objectives are:
- To prove information on characteristics and strategies.
- Help bridge the gap of misunderstanding, give clarifications and answer questions.
- Promote positive interactions and strategies to help prevent fear and trauma in emergency situations.

We are working in cooperation with local organizations to assemble sensory tool kits for use by first responders in a variety of settings.